What a tremendous few days. As I type this at 36,000 feet on our flight to Las Vegas from Houston, our team is heading back home tired yet fulfilled.
29 Faith Lutheran students, 2 administrators, and 4 parents are here from Las Vegas to do what we can to bring some relief and support to the people in the Greater Houston area. Subscribe to the blog for additional trip updates.
With so many opportunities out there to compete in club sports all year long at a young age, many kids are specializing in a single sport. Questions continue to arise about whether or not specialization is good for kids, especially as it relates to the age of the student. Parents that have kids involved in sports at a young age will undoubtedly have choices to make regarding how much their kids will focus on a particular sport or whether they will participate in multiple athletic activities.
Students today can seem more involved, well-rounded, and engaged then generations before. The result: BUSY teenagers. What can we do to support and mentor them as life gets stressful?
Adults have spent the last week helping children process the events of October 1st. As life slowly begins to return to what will be the new normal in Vegas, many are left wondering what conversations are left. How will we know if our kids are showing signs of trauma? As a mother, the wife of a first responder, and a counselor at Faith Lutheran, I have guided many discussions this week and understand the work that still lies before us as we all recover. Much of that work will continue with you.
As we read in Part 1, childhood has changed. Our kids live in a world that is more visible and transparent than ever. As parents the choices we made as kids were usually private and undocumented. However, our children are living in a society where everything is filmed, watched, documented and shared. In Part 2, we will discuss how our child's digital world can and will have a direct impact on their physical world and what parents can do.
Raising digital teenagers is hard work especially when today’s parents did not grow up with the internet. As a school counselor and a mom, I often hear that this leaves parents feeling they are ill equipped to cross the bridge between their experiences and the digital childhood of their offspring. We live in an age of sexting, frightening online challenges, cyberbullying, and digital footprints which can follow middle schoolers to college. Less dramatic is the typical struggle over amount of screen time and how that time is spent. All of this leaves adults veering wildly between over-policing children or giving up supervision altogether. The question remains; how can we keep our kids educated and safe?
A few years ago, my wife and I traveled to Israel. One day while at the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, a bus filled with Israeli soldiers from the Israeli Defense Forces pulled into the parking lot. I asked our tour guide what they were doing. He explained that soldiers are toured around the entire country so they learn the history, culture, beliefs, geography, and people of Israel. He quipped, “Too many soldiers go into battle, and they don’t know what they’re fighting for. We make sure that doesn’t happen in Israel.”